1. “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. [...] My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
–Fmr. Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney
The other quotes in the top ten are amusing, but perhaps none was as critically damaging as this one — the quote that sealed Mitt Romney’s fate.
The Obama campaign spent most of the summer portraying Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat who looked down on people with less than a few million dollars in the bank. Then Romney came along and confirmed it, writing off nearly half of the country with sneering dismissal, claiming that the poor took no personal responsibility, and that they were ungrateful for wanting to be able to eat, or have shelter against the cold or not die of cancer.
Mitt said, flatly, that those people didn’t matter. What mattered were the makers — the people who were smart enough to be born to rich, well-connected parents. They poor would learn to take responsibility for themselves by starving and freezing to death; the rich, meanwhile, would demonstrate the kind of responsible stewardship they showed when they destroyed the economy in 2008.
It was a breathtakingly awful statement, one culled from the darkest corners of Ayn Rand novels. It proved that Mitt was not on the side of anyone but those who were already successful.
In a grand moment of irony, Mitt Romney ended up taking 47 percent of the vote in November. It turns out that most Americans recognize that personal responsibility is important, but that it’s also reasonable for society to help those in need. Romney still doesn’t get this — his post-election diatribe in which he blamed Obama for giving away “free stuff” proves it — but it doesn’t matter. Romney never will be president whether he ever really wanted to or not.
Image Credits: Donkey Hotey, Bain Capital, David Lytle, Iowa-Politics.us
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